Natural Hazards and Child Health

Claus C. Pörtner, University of Washington

This paper examines how the occurrence of various natural disasters affects health status of children. Despite a large literature on child health, there is relatively little work on how shocks from natural hazards affect the health of children. With climate change it is likely that more and more households will experience changes and possible increases in the risk of natural disasters. Using three rounds of data from the Demographic and Health Surveys from Guatemala, combined with a long time series on hazards, this paper controls for both time and area specific effects, while pinpointing when and where a particular shocks occurred. This is done for children between 9 and 59 months with anthropometric information (child health proxied by height for age, weight for age and weight for height) and direct information on recent illnesses. Except for drought, the effect of shocks from these hazards is generally negative and often very large.

  See paper

Presented in Session 82: Population and Environmental Change